Also commonly called Thornapple, May-tree, Whitethorn or Hawberry.
Composition of Hawthorn
Please do not use Hawthorn if pregnant or have an existing heart condition or are on blood-thinning medicaton.
Hawthorn has been traditionally used as a diuretic for kidney and bladder disorders, to treat stomach ache, stimulate appetite, and improve circulation. Other traditional uses for hawthorn include treatment of stress, nervousness, and sleep disorders.
As a food, it was at one time known as the “bread and cheese tree” because the flowers, berries and leaves are all safe to eat, so it was a lifesaver during famines.
Health benefits of Hawthorn
Hawthorn is also believed to improve circulation in the arms and legs by reducing resistance in the arteries. This is partly due its ability to inhibit a substance in the body known as angiotensin-converting enzyme. Because of this quality, it is said to work as an aphriodisiac.
Hawthorn is a rich source of flavonoids, tannins and phenolic acids. Hawthorn is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are generally viewed as being able to boost blood flow to the heart, as well as help the coronary arteries dilate.
Hawthorn works well to improve high blood pressure, atherosclerosis and arrhythmia. Herbalists identify bioflavonoids, proanthocyanidins and other antioxidants as the active ingredients that make hawthorn so effective.
Hawthorn works by nourishing the entire circulatory system. Targeting the heart first, it feeds the heart muscle. Hawthorn enhances heart function by increasing the metabolism of enzymes in the heart muscle. Strengthening the heart beat and pulse, hawthorn works out from the heart toward the peripheral blood vessels, toning and strengthening the arteries, veins and capillaries.
Hawthorn is an herbal remedy for high blood pressure that has been used in traditional Chinese medicines for thousands of years. Extracts of hawthorn seem to have a whole host of benefits on cardiovascular health, including helping reduce blood pressure, the prevent clot formation, and increase blood circulation. Traditionally, the berries were used to treat heart problems ranging from irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, and heart failure.
History of Hawthorn
The use of hawthorn dates back to the Greek physician Dioscorides.
Many parts of the hawthorn (with the botanical name Crataegus), including its berries and flowers, have been used by traditional healers for centuries.